One of my favorite exercises in every workshop I facilitate is where participants get to share their unique viewpoint on their own preferences - what their strengths are, what their challenges are, how to best work with them, and how they're often misunderstood. During a recent workshop on Interaction Styles, here's what came out for the Chart-the-Course™ style:

Strengths:

  • We have a plan
  • We know what the goals are
  • We know where we're going

Challenges:

  • Sometimes it's difficult to get people on board and see our plans make sense
  • It can be hard to explain our vision to others

How to work with us:

  • Let us know what you need and what is expected

Common misconception:

  • We're bossy

This group of Chart-the-Course™ leaders received feedback from their colleagues in the form of appreciation of their strengths, and the advantages they bring to the team: a plan, structure, and results. We were also able to clarify that their plan isn't always set in stone: we're open to tangents and explorations, but we'll be aware of when we're deviating.

To help you clarify if this may be your Interaction Style preference, or that of someone you live or work with, here's the Chart-the-Course™ pattern description taken from Dr. Berens' book:

Interaction Style booklet
Interaction Style booklet

The theme is having a course of action to follow. People of this style focus on knowing what to do and keeping themselves, the group, or the project on track. They prefer to enter a situation having an idea of what is to happen. They identify a process to accomplish a goal and have a somewhat contained tension as they work to create and monitor a plan. The aim is not the plan itself, but to use it as a guide to move things along toward the goal. Their informed and deliberate decisions are based on analyzing, outlining, conceptualizing or foreseeing what needs to be done.

Image by mikeyskatie, Flickr, Creative Commons License.

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